Improve Your Teaching Habits

About a year ago, I started to really think about all the time as educators that we spend in our classrooms. Well as you know the amount of hours we spend unpaid in the classroom exceeds any other job. I decided that the following school year I would make a change. I wanted to regain my own life back.

This is more than just wanting to have extra time to get dinner with a friend or catch a television show. I wanted to be able to pursue other ideas and work on things that benefit my life. This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reading informational books and working on my blog.

I am going to dedicate quite a few of my next blog posts to giving ideas/ suggestions that are working for me. These posts will not only inspire you to start leaving work on time but also show you that you can still be an amazing teacher while doing it!

Alarms Are Your Best Friend


Let’s flashback to my first year of teaching. It was a scary time in my life. I was staying until the custodians were literally kicking me out to alarm the building. I was leaving physically and emotionally drained.  I still felt unprepared and my lack of sleep added no help.

I was a mess!

As years passed, I was no longer staying until the custodians kicked me out but I was still staying way past my contracted hours. I would come home too tired to exercise and way too tired to cook.

Keeping that in mind, here is my first strategy to getting you home on time. It may seem easy but you really have to stick to it.

Set an alarm!

You will be surprised every time it goes off, reminding you it is time to go home. Start by just having it go off a half hour earlier than you usually go home. See if it helps. Then you can set the alarm earlier as you progress.

Remember you can’t do everything.

I know that is what you are thinking when I told you to set an alarm. What about the science investigation, new seats and organizing my files?

I promise you will get to it!


We will talk more about how to accomplish everything you are leaving behind and how to work the most efficient in the next few blogs. 🙂

Utilize parent help

Many of us always have parents asking, “What can I do to help?

Give them a weekly job that you can always count on. It will be a routine for them so after the first time, they won’t need your help and it helps gets a task done for you.

At our school we have Wednesday folders that upcoming events and flyers for the students. I keep it all in a basket by my door so that a mom can pick it up Wednesday and stuff the folders. This saves me an extra half hour out of my day.

I also label all my copies Thursday and Friday morning A mom comes and picks them up. She makes my copies for the following week so I am prepped and ready. This saves about another hour.

You can also use them to organize books, file papers and cut your laminate.

You just have to not be afraid to ask!